What is the most important thing on a smartphone owner's mind? Battery life, of course. After all, the major platforms each have options available that result in longer battery life. These battery savers usually do their job by lowering the screen brightness, turning off certain sensors, shutting off processes running in the background, and more.
But someday, battery savers might not be needed. According to a company involved with fuel cells, that day could be just two-years away. British fuel-cell developer Intelligent Energy Holdings is receiving $7.6 million from "an emerging smartphone maker" to help it develop a fuel-cell system small enough to power a smartphone. The battery works by converting hydrogen into electric power, while leaving water vapor in the process. The fuel cell battery for smartphones would be able to last one week between charges.
The company is using the money from the unnamed phone producer to develop a prototype and says that such a device is best suited for power scarce areas of the world. Companies like Morgan Stanley and Ikea have turned to the technology to access plentiful energy that is "clean." In London, Intelligent Energy's 'Black Cabs' use fuel cells to transport passengers without leaving harmful emissions in the air.
"Embedding fuel-cell technology into portable devices provides a solution to the current dilemma of battery life. With consumers demanding more and more from their phones, battery innovation has not kept up."-Julian Hughes, acting managing director, Consumer Electronics division, Intelligent Energy
Henri Winand, chief executive of Intelligent Energy, says that this battery could be just two years away from becoming real. "The killer app is a battery with a seven-day refresh life and we think that will appeal to everyone. It’s not just for intrepid explorers," the executive added.